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Grandfather is sacked by Asda for sharing an ‘anti-Islamic’ Billy Connolly sketch on Facebook

Disabled grandfather is sacked by Asda after colleague complained about him sharing an ‘anti-Islamic’ Billy Connolly sketch on his Facebook page

  • Brian Leach was let go by the supermarket for ‘breaching its social media policy’
  • Mr Leach deleted post and wrote grovelling apology but was sacked this week 
  • The grandfather had worked at Asda in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, for five years 

A disabled grandfather has been sacked by Asda for sharing a Billy Connolly sketch about religion on his Facebook page.

Brian Leach was let go by the supermarket after a colleague complained that the comments in the skit were anti-Islamic.

Following the complaint, he deleted the post from May and wrote a grovelling apology to his bosses and colleagues.

But Mr Leach, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was fired on Wednesday after five years in the job for breaching the company’s social media policy.   

Brian Leach shared this photo on Facebook today with the caption: ‘Returning my locker key and company discount cards. Thought I would get a photo for the memories. All you had to do was give me a written warning!’

Mr Leach was let go by Asda after he shared a Billy Connolly skit about religion. One of his colleagues complained the video was anti-Islamic

Mr Leach was let go by Asda after he shared a Billy Connolly skit about religion. One of his colleagues complained the video was anti-Islamic

Mr Leach announced the sacking on Facebook. He'd been working at the supermarket in Dewsbury for five years

Mr Leach announced the sacking on Facebook. He’d been working at the supermarket in Dewsbury for five years

Mr Leach, who worked as a ‘meeter and greeter’ at the town’s Asda, announced the sacking on Facebook. 

He wrote: Unfortunately, I have today been dismissed from Asda. Some of my colleagues took offence to the Billy Connelly, (sic), thoughts on religion, that I posted early May.

‘It’s been a pleasure working with my friends and serving the public of Dewsbury and I will miss my regular customers x.

The video referred to in the post was Connolly’s Religion is Over taken from his live stage act a number of years ago.

In the sketch, the comedian rails against religious followers of Christianity and Islam.

It includes the lines: ‘Religion is over, lads, it’s f***ing over. Take your Reformation, your Vatican, your f***ing Mecca, and f*** off.

‘Suicide f***ing bombing – now there’s a bright idea. Every time there’s a bang the world is a w***er short. F***ing idiots.’

Mr Leach, who says he is disabled, said: ‘Asda have a Social Media Policy and I breached the policy [by] having my employer listed [on my Facebook page] and because I have possibly brought the company name into disrepute.

The video referred to in the post was Connolly's Religion is Over taken from his live stage act. In it, he pokes fun at suicide bombing

The video referred to in the post was Connolly’s Religion is Over taken from his live stage act. In it, he pokes fun at suicide bombing

Mr Leach, who suffers with mental health problems, worked as a 'meeter and greeter' at Asda

Mr Leach, who suffers with mental health problems, worked as a ‘meeter and greeter’ at Asda

‘I have been fearful of getting a knife in my back because an Asian Colleague kindly took a photo of my profile post of Billy Connolly and attached it to my photo and I have been very scared after it was shared on Instagram.’ 

The grandfather said he was ‘feeling lost’ without his job.   

An Asda spokesman said: ‘We would never comment on individual circumstances.

‘However, we do not tolerate any form of discrimination from colleagues or customers and take such behaviour extremely seriously.’ 

Mr Leach’s grovelling apology to bosses

I fully acknowledge my sharing of material online within my Facebook account regarding religion has upset many people and understand it to be a very serious breach of the company social media policy.

In mitigation, I immediately removed the item causing offence and removed the association with Asda on my profile, also removing colleagues from Facebook friendship who may have been deeply offended by such post.

I have spoken to affected colleagues apologising for my post, taking their feedback on board. 

I have realised people’s faiths are very important to them, and the nature of the post regarding the sensitive nature of it relating to the holy place of Islam.

If I had faith I can imagine being very upset myself. Saying that the post shared is a joke by Billy Connolly not my personal views. 

But I recognise how colleagues may think this is my view. As a result I will think very carefully before posting online or saying anything that could be interpreted as hurtful to others and my place of work.

I suffer from mental health issues and other disabilities which the company are aware of, and have been in supported employment with Asda/Remploy since September 2014 and appreciate the efforts of the company in helping me.

I believe my customer service and personality shines while on the front line of the store and I’d say that I am valued by customers evidenced by people seeking me out at my till.

I believe this has been a wake up call and will not be repeated. I would like the opportunity to prove that this post does not reflect who I am.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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